The magic of the FA Cup struck again, a fantastic 90 minutes saw Manchester United make history by reaching the Vitality Women’s FA Cup final for the first time.

Their 3-2 win over bottom-of-the-table Brighton and Hove Albion failed to play out as most anticipated when Mary Earps gave the visitors the lead in the 36th minute.

The ball ricocheted from her left hand and spun into the top of her own net punishing the struggling hosts. Within a minute of the break, Ona Batlle delivered a perfect low cross for Leah Galton to tap home. Alessia Russo’s effort gave the Reds the lead with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Drama stirred when Danielle Carter got the better of Millie Turner and Earps to bring it back even at 2-2 just four minutes later. But Super-sub Rachel Williams put the game to bed with a minute to go.

Player ratings:

Mary Earps – No nonsense dealing with the ball, getting it back into play ASAP. Got her hand to the cross but the rebound from the save went into the back into her own net, a strange goal and a positional error from England’s number one. Incredible save to parry the ball over the crossbar in redemption. Nothing she could do about the second goal. 6

Ona Batlle - Positioned herself high which forced Garcia inside so United lost some width on the right flank. Struggled to get involved as much in the first half compared to usual performances yet within a minute of the second half, her run and delivery into the box gave United their equaliser. Much better second half. 8

Hannah Blundell – Very disciplined in her defensive duties against Brighton’s Robinson pace, frustrating her opponent. And so didn’t get higher up the field as much as usual. 7

Ella Toone – Quiet first half, but turned it up in the second 45 minutes with a seriously close volley from the top of the box that just missed the target. Her small one-touch passes sped up the United attack, great to see her have more space. 7

Katie Zelem – Play bypassed the captain, even the corners were short. Most of her action was bouncing the ball to the back four. Held the space in the middle of the park well and played a cheeky through-ball to Russo to take the lead with 20 minutes left of the clock, she also assisted Rachel Williams for their third goal. 7

Leah Galton – Unlucky not to have scored her header in the first half, very quiet first half. Brought it back level within a minute of the second half – a simple close-range tap-in from Battles’ cross the deck. Troubled the hosts in the second half. 7

Hayley Ladd – Played as that important cog in the machine of United’s midfield working box-to-box to link play all over the field. Set up Garcia for an early shot on goal after a tussle in Brighton’s area. 7

Maya Le Tissier – Fantastic eye for the long, diagonal ball to Galton – a huge threat to Brighton. Wasn’t afraid to step in and get involved in a proactive defence with Turner in tow to pick up the loose balls. 7

Lucia Garcia – Stepped into the starting line-up on the right. Got an early opportunity but miscommunication with Toone caused a turnover in possession. Brought a lot of energy both on the attack and chasing down the ball. Great feet to dance around blue shirts. 8

Millie Turner – Solid at the back as usual, in charge of the United’s defence. Patient play didn’t force the ball but swept well. Could’ve communicated better with Earps to prevent the goal. Also didn’t fight well to prevent Brighton’s Carter from scoring, poor defensive effort in the dying stages. 7

Alessia Russo – Struggled to get in possession, but when she did, was forced to play backwards and slow down the track. Yet, her positional game was strong, where she managed to hit a volley on the half turn from close range where she was unfortunate not to score until the 70th minute. 8

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